Reaching for the sky…

Having so much enjoyed that book The Pigeon Guide to Architecture I was very interested to see a pile of Skyscrapers: A History of the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings by Judith Dupre, standing tall in the bookshop. Very satisfyingly, it is a tall book, being close to half a metre high. It is informative and a bit gob-smacking: these are very strange things to spend our time building. But they are oddly beautiful, and the engineering behind them is ingenious and crafty and indeed extraordinary.

More than 60 buildings are featured in this beautifully designed book including the One World Trade Centre, Burj Dubai, Shanghai World Financial Centre, the Petronas Towers, the Tribune Tower, the Lipstick Building and the Phare Tower. New buildings include the London Bridge Tower (2012, Renzo Piano), the International Commerce Tower (Hong Kong, 2010, Kohn Pederson Fox), the Shanghai Tower (2014, Gensler Architects) and the Kingdom Tower (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2018, Adrian Smith), which will be the tallest building in the world when completed. Arranged chronologically by the date the building was built, the book includes features on such topics as the ancient roots of skyscrapers and visionary cities of the future, as well as a fascinating interview with Philip Johnson and other profiles. New topics include the era of the Megatall buildings, the building of a skyscraper and the explosion of skyscrapers in Dubai and China. Each informative spread includes photos of the building from various angles, building plans, diagrams, the building’s historical background and technological information.

Pigeons are not discussed.

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